You could say it is ego or vanity or narcissism that fuels the pursuit of recognition.
But deep down, if we are honest with ourselves, we all yearn for attention. It may not be much, yet it is an undeniable part of what makes us human.
Of course fame is not for everyone. However, it is safe to say that most would desire some form of recognition for their contributions to the things they put their time and energy into. Or sometimes things that they don’t really put that much time and energy into.
Sometimes it’s nice to have someone’s attention, even if it is just for a brief, fleeting, mortal moment. Perhaps that’s why people like dogs; most of them can give you relatively undivided attention almost unconditionally. And they don’t judge you.
But every once in a while, people need something more. Something they feel they need to share with the world – the love of a hobby or a really cool thing they created or an amazing hidden talent they have.
And amidst all that is some desire for fame and praise, and the fortune that follows according to what society has us believe. Despite the negative connotations that society seems to place on aiming for fame, it’s more than happy to dish it out in truckloads to its chosen ones, regardless of whether or not they are deserving of it.
However, at the core of it all, I’d like to believe that we humans simply feel the need to share; to bond with others on a deeper level; to identify kindred spirits that take interest in the same thing or admire similar traits and patterns. To revel in the intriguing and endless layers that our world has unleashed upon us.
Once in a while you’ll put on a sharply coloured shirt; or show off a cool move or two while you’re out in public; or pretend not to look at the cute girl facing your way and hope that she’ll see you and think to herself how dashing you look and imagine the rest of her life in your embrace (but of course that only happens in those silly Hollywood romcoms).
And all for what? That tiny glimmer of hope that someone, somewhere out there catches you in that moment where you’re having fun being comfortable in your own skin, that brief flicker where you feel at your best, at the top of the world. They may not know you or care all that much, but they bore witness to a moment in humanity that may very well never occur again for millennia to come.
Sometimes it’s nice to be noticed.